By Beatrice Thomas
Senior exec at Al Hokair Group says its Al Sahara Kingdom hotel and entertainment will open in 'a couple of years'
A senior executive at Saudi’s Al Hokair Group says its long-awaited Al Sahara Kingdom hotel and entertainment project in Dubailand should open in “a couple of years”.
The Al Sahara Kingdom has been master-planned over a 50 million sq ft area in Dubailand, the delayed real estate development backed by Dubai Properties Group (DPG).
The project was to include two four-star hotels – to be run by Al Hokair-owned MENA Hotels & Resorts, an indoor theme park, restaurants, residential areas and a retail souk.
However, it was delayed during the financial crisis, along with most of the developments planned for Dubailand.
In 2012 Al Hokair deputy CEO Sami AM Al Hokair told Hotelier Middle East that construction on AL Sahara would resume in 2013 with phase one to open in 2014.
On Wednesday Al Hokair vice-president marketing and business development Mishal Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair suggested the opening was more likely to be in 2016 and that construction was taking place on site.
“It’s in the plan to open,” he told Arabian Business on the sidelines of the company’s Sparky’s indoor entertainment centre opening in Al Ghurair Centre.
“It was planned to open but however the crisis which hit all the market just delayed and postponed the launching date of it. However, it will come very soon to the market.”
Asked if it had an exact opening he said: “Actually we don’t have exact date, however I can say a couple of years”.
Dubailand was one of the Gulf emirate’s most ambitious developments, announced at the height of the real estate bubble.
The resort was originally slated to be twice the size of Walt Disney World, and was reportedly worth AED335bn at its peak. It was placed on hold after the financial crisis triggered the collapse of Dubai’s real estate market in late-2008.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I wish all the best for our beloved brothers of UAE in general and Dubai in particular. Also wish the completion of all the dream projects like Dubailand.